The spring allows me to mix it up and target many different species. Kingfish, Spanish mackerel, cobia and permit can be caught within 9 miles of our west coast. It takes no time to reach all of those species, all of which can be caught in the same area, artificial reefs and hard bottom. There are many published artificial reefs on the Internet. I stop at a bridge first thing in the morning and fill the well with as many types of bait as possible. I usually get pinfish, scaled sardines, threadfins, grunts and ladyfish in the cast net. The No. 1 key to fishing is having everything possible to present to the fish when the opportunity arises. Once I get to my way point, I lower my high definition GPS trolling motor and hit the anchor function. This keeps me anchored precisely on my mark. I start throwing out chummers to create a feeding frenzy. Spanish mackerel and kingfish are usually the first to eat the live chum. If a "smoker" kingfish is hooked, I can hit off the anchor function and quickly give chase. Anything can happen — last spring a sailfish hit the chummers less than 7 miles from the coast.
Rob Gorta charters out of St. Petersburg. Call him at (727) 647-7606 or visit captainrobgorta.com.